And now, a warning about trailer tires. Maybe I am overcautious but one of my main concerns with towing a travel trailer is having a tire issue. Knock on wood, I have never had a flat or blowout on my trailer tires and only one flat on my truck in 15 years. (now I feel a jinx coming on).
Am I Paranoid?
I am religious about checking the tire pressure and lug nuts before each trip because I have seen the effects of a blowout on a trailer and it isn’t pretty. If you’re lucky you will just end up with a shredded mass of rubber should a blowout occur but I’ve seen others that blowout and rip off the plastic wheel well trim and some even have gotten into the fiberglass wall.
Trailer Tires Can Cause a Bad Travel Experience
We just returned from a 5 day trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas as well as my Aunt and Uncle and parents. The trip each direction is about 550 miles. They had all left two days before us to head to the park and my Uncle had a blowout on his fifth wheel around Little Rock. Luckily there was no damage to the trailer and he swapped to the spare and made the rest of the journey down with no issue. He was able to get a new tire mounted on the rim and we installed it before we started the trip home.
We all traveled together on the way home and I was in front. Just as we started heading North on Interstate 55 north of Interstate 40, I got a phone call from my Aunt letting me know they had another blowout. This time the tire shredded and took out the plastic fenders as well as causing significant damage to the aluminum skirting on the side. Once again we swapped to the spare and decided to limit our speed to 55 for the rest of the trip to avoid another blowout. They were able to make it home without any other issues.
The bad part of this story is he had just purchased a new set of tires the year before and had less than 1000 miles on them. When he returned to the dealer it was discovered that the tires were all manufactured in different years and old stock on their shelves. The tires were manufactured in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. The oldest being 6 years old at purchase and the newest being 3. The dealer replaced all four tires and they are still arguing about the damage to his trailer.
What Should You Do?
After this I would say it would be a good idea to check the date of manufacture when purchasing trailer tires. Make sure they haven’t been collecting dust on the shelf for years and potentially dry rotting. There is a four digit code after the “DOT” designation that tells you the time of manufacture.
The first two numbers are the week number and last two digits are the year. I had just had a new set of Goodyear Endurance tires put on my TT last year so I checked the dates. All 4 were made within 4 months of the install. I’m not a fan of the “China Bombs” but we did run the factory ones on our trailer for 5 years before upgrading to the Goodyear Endurance.